Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: The Dragon
By Peg Broussard
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The dragon’s name is Anger and is multi-faceted. It shows itself as a child’s temper tantrum, a teenager’s disappointment, or the broken heart of a spurned lover. Left unchecked Anger will eat at your soul morsel by morsel until it seems there is nothing left. I met Anger when my Mother passed away. She’s been gone seven years now and the road to acceptance of my loss has been a tough one.
Anger was well hidden behind my façade of strength and understanding. I had grown very adept at smiling brightly while my heart splintered sporadically throughout my day. Anger sometimes still shows itself, the stench leaving me feeling weak and helpless, but I have banished this dragon and knowing I am not alone has helped me. I have held tight to my faith and have taken comfort that my road is shared with the Lord.
When my Dad died eight years ago after a tremendously long sickness I was grateful that the Lord had finally released him from his pain. And, having Mom, made it seem, somehow, that I still had Dad too. She was the tenuous link to him. I grieved, but I was able to help Mom cope with losing her husband of fifty-four years.
My relationship with my parents was an extremely close one. My brother and sister had long since moved away from our town and were pursuing their own lives and having their own families. I chose to “stay put”, raising my children within the sheltering comfort of their grandparents. Until my parents died I had never lived more than a mile from them; I worked side by side with my mother each day and weekends were always spent in some type of family activity with my parents.
The year following Dad’s death was arduous. The dragon had begun to devour Mom. She had always been a strong woman, but there was no mistaking the dark circles under her eyes, red and puffy from crying. I was there in the middle of the night when she would awaken alone and lonely in her bed and, unable to return to sleep, got up and paced the house. Anger was feasting.
Sixteen months after I lost Dad, my mother died. The physical blow I felt when I received the news brought me to my knees. How could this be? What in the world was going on? How could God take her from me without a word of goodbye? What was I going to do without her? These thoughts tumbled one upon the other as I fought to take a breath and make some sense out of what I was hearing. I had these thoughts for a long time.
One morning as I sat soaking up the beauty of a spectacular sunrise, I questioned again, “I feel so alone. Why did you take her too?” I felt a breathless sense of peace washing over me as my answer came swiftly and quietly, “You are not alone, but you must learn to stand on your own two feet. If you should fall I will be there to catch you.” I still seem incomplete at times because she isn’t here to share my life. She isn’t here to laugh with, cry with, or to do something as simple as watch a special movie with. In short, she’s gone. But I have my answer. Picking myself back up and standing strong hasn’t been easy, but at least I have the answer to all of my questions. I can and have banished Anger and I am not alone.
Seven years have passed since Mom put her hand in God’s and quietly slipped away in the middle of the night. It took me a long time to know that she couldn’t say goodbye because there is no goodbye. She and Dad are still with me each and every day. The special place they hold in my heart is still there and is still filled with wonderful memories of all they taught me about myself and about life; how to be a good person, a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter and how to love and trust our Lord.
The dragon’s name is Anger and may chance another visit, but the Lord will walk beside me until one day, when placing my hand in His, I too, will quietly slip away.
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